Match content to buyer stage

Some really good stuff here:  http://www.junta42.com/content-marketing-playbook.aspx

You can get the content playbook from these guys for free (no registration required) and it’s a really good resource. But, as they point out, you need a content strategy. One of their comments is:

“Content marketing is the art of understanding exactly what your customers need to know and delivering it to them in a relevant and compelling way.”

That is true – but there is more to it than that. You need to have content that matches up with what the prospect needs AT THAT PARTICULAR time in their buying process.  You need to map out the buying process for your most likely prospects and then design and create content to meet your prospective buyer’s needs at each stage.

For example, a prospect who doesn’t know you and may not even know they have a need for your products/services, is at the beginning of the process. You need to generate awareness that they have a need and that you can satisfy that need. You don’t need to go into details on your product or solution. In fact, you probably shouldn’t even mention any solution. You should concentrate on educating the prospects and positioning your organization as the thought leader in that area.

As you move through the buying process, you need to match content to buyer stages such as:

  • Educational (whitepapers, webinars, other educational info)
  • Solution meets the needs (product brochures, datasheets, reviews, etc.)
  • Feel-good justification (case studies and testimonials from customers)
  • Financial information (like an ROI calculator)
  • Competitive positioning (for use by sales)

You need to map out your typical customer buying process and make sure you have content that matches what they are seeking. Some of this content may be for lead generation (such as whitepapers and webinars) and some may be back pocket for sales reps when they are in the buying process (such as competitive responses). But the point is, you need to be prepared for all of these stages with responses that meet your target prospect’s needs.

Use your existing customers to better understand the buying process. And then use them to understand what content works and when.

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